Feedback about Imam Zaid Shakir and New Islamic Directions

The Chronicle of Higher Learning

“Embodying an American story if ever there was one—including proverbial bootstraps, military service, political activism, and deep religious commitment—Zaid Shakir’s message of social justice in the face of poverty and racism he has known first hand makes him endlessly and, it often seems, effortlessly relevant. He is as approachable a man as I’ve ever met.”


Lauren Booth, UK Journalist, Broadcaster

“May Allah SWT bless you all at Zaytuna for the education and support you offer your fellow human beings”.

Diocese of Oakland

“Please accept my sincere well wishes on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, the Festival of Fast-Breaking, at the end of the month of Ramadan. Throughout these August Days, you have committed yourselves to prayer, fasting, helping the neediest and strengthening relations of family and friendship. God will not fail to reward these efforts! “.

Council on American-Islamic Relations

“We sincerely appreciated the connections you drew between the civil rights struggles of different communities and our own as well as your highlighting the importance of American Muslims on the forefront of civil rights work”.

Islamic Scholarship Fund

“ISF would like to extend a warm welcome to Imam Zaid Shakir, the most recent addition to the Islamic Scholarship Fund advisory board. We are proud to have this most distinguished individual on the ISF team and we hope to work closely with him in the future”.

Dr. Ingrid Mattson, Hartford Seminary

“The American Muslim community has been blessed with many wise scholars. Imam Zaid Shakir, scholar-in-residence at Zaytuna Institute, has written a compelling response to the Fort Hood tragedy. Imam Zaid’s response is solidly grounded in the Islamic legal, ethical and intellectual tradition, which all Muslims share, as well as his personal understanding of the current political context”.

“A vigorous discussion and debate over our various understandings of this political context is certainly welcome and necessary, but no one who understands the priorities and principles of the Islamic tradition can disagree with Imam Zaid’s ethical reasoning, nor his conclusion that “Our civil rights can be assailed, we can be denied equal protection under the law, our lawful and law-abiding organizations can be closed down, but no one can take our dignity from us, no one can prevent us from being decent neighbors, honest workers, dedicated students, faithful citizens, and pious believers”.

Tikkun Daily

“Imam Zaid Shakir is one of the most thoughtful and dynamic teachers about the true nature of Islam in America today”.

Bill Moyers, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

“Imam Zaid Shakir has been called a voice of conscience for American Muslims, but his views on Islam in America put him at the center of a heated debate about faith and culture”.

Dr. Roger Scruton, British political philosopher

“On the issue of civilization, one has to remember that Islamic Civilization is a very important episode in our history of mankind, and someone like Zaid Shakir is a student of it and knows the literature and what it has achieved. And many of the big, loud-mouthed voices in modern politics pretend to speak for Islam and don’t speak for that civilization at all. They have lost all contact with the philosophers and the poets”. Dr. Scruton also said, he was “encouraged” by his exchange with Imam Zaid, and saw signs of hope in the ongoing engagement of Muslims and the West”. 

Dr. Cornel West, Princeton University

“Imam Zaid Shakir is one of the towering principle voices not only in contemporary Islam, but in American society.”

New York Times

“Describes Imam Zaid Shakir as a “leading intellectual light”, a gifted scholar, author and lecturer, is fast becoming one of the most influential voices for Islam in the West, as well as a compelling force for the improvement of race relations in America”.

Sulayman S. Nyang, Ph.D., Howard University

“Imam Zaid Shakir has compiled in Scattered Pictures: Reflections of an American Muslim a number of his articles of the burning issues that challenge all religious men and women in the United States of America and beyond. What is remarkable about this text is its message of hope. Deeply rooted in the Western and Islamic traditions, and bent on reconciling and profiting from both of them, Imam Shakir has written a text that could serve as a useful model for younger Muslims coming from a similar background. His reflections in this text have made it clear to me that the person who wrote this book is a man whose mental furniture has been properly re-arranged by his encounter with the Qur’an and the legacy of Prophet Muhammad. Muslims and non-Muslims will find much inspiration from the messages that are beautifully packaged for those who think seriously and critically.”

Michael Wolfe, Unity Productions Foundation

“This collection of Zaid Shakir’s essays in Scattered Pictures: Reflections of an American Muslim is long overdue. For some years now he has brought a clarity of mind and feeling to substantive issues challenging Muslims today. It is good to see some of his fire-fly, lightning bolt thinking captured in words and put between covers.”

Yahiya Emerik, Islamic Foundation of North America

“The clarity with which Imam shakir delves into issues such as the true nature of jihad and the relationship between Islam and the African American struggle leaves the reader with new insights and imparts him or her a satisfying resolution to many unspoken issues and hardened realizations common to man Muslims today.”

Dr. Kenneth Honerkamp, The University of Georgia in Athens

“Imam Zaid Shakir has accompanied the text Treatise for The Seekers of Guidance with an in-depth commentary based upon the Qur’an and Hadith that enriches and contextualizes the concise prose of Imam al-Muhasibi within the social milieu of our times. His employs language that is accessible and free of technical terminology. His translation thus provides sound guidance to anyone who is seeking in the midst of the uncertainties of social turmoil and personal struggle, a whole and integral path, a unity of form and substance,self-effacing comportment, and intimate knowledge of God. In short this is a work that no ones library should be without”.

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